Navi Mental Health Wayfinder
Simulated Work Experience - Experiential Learning Hub
simulated experience

Learning Type:

Simulated Work Experience


Students participate in an immersive learning experience in an educational setting that replicates workplace tools, processes and / or environmental circumstances present outside of the University. This type of experience can be curricular or co-curricular.



  • Eligibility criteria will vary depending on the initiative in which a student participates.


  • Curricular workplace simulated experiences can last from a few hours to many hours over the course of an academic term; timelines are set within your course.
  • Co-curricular workplace simulated experiences may be one-time experiences or longer-term roles with a flexible duration.

Recognition and / or compensation:  

  • Students will typically receive course credit for participating in a curricular workplace simulated experiences as part of their course.
  • Most co-curricular workplace simulated experiences are unpaid and many will offer recognition through the co-curricular record.


  • Inclusion in EL is achieved when an experience supports learning for all students. In keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code, the University of Toronto has a commitment to an equitable learning environment for people with disabilities. It is important to engage in an interactive process to determine the optimal and most appropriate accommodations for individual students engaged in experiential learning.
  • If a student requires an accommodation related to a simulated work experience, you may wish to connect with one of the accessibility services offices at the University of Toronto. Staff at these offices will advise you on the disclosure of accommodation requirements as well as support you through the process of determining and negotiating effective accommodations for the student’s individual circumstances.
  • Student support offices strive to create a safe and comfortable community where students have opportunities to discuss navigating barriers, find peer support and learn about various academic and social opportunities. 


  • Review the Guidelines & Procedures page to further understand which partnership agreements, insurance and liability coverage and health and safety policies are applicable to simulated work experiences. The Experiential Learning Risk Management Matrix provides a one-page overview.
  • If participating in a curricular simulated work experience (for credit), students do have workplace insurance coverage. If participating in a co-curricular simulated work experience, student do not have workplace insurance coverage. 
  • Students participating in a curricular simulated work experience (for credit) have general liability coverage. 
  • Students (and alumni who are within two years of graduation) have general liability coverage when participating in job shadowing programs organized by the Tri-Campus career centres. Otherwise, instructors or program coordinators should contact the Risk Management and Insurance Department.


  • By working through a problem, whether real or simulated, students apply their disciplinary knowledge and competencies to challenges that are faced by industry and community partners.
  • Simulated work experiences provide insights into the perspectives and challenges faced by various types of organizations and industries.

Ideal time to participate:  

How to access / locate opportunities:

  • The majority of these experiences are listed on the Co-Curricular Record (CCR). However, there may be additional opportunities that exist through students’ local division. Students should take some time to reach out to their academic unit or registrar’s office to see what might be available and of interest.

Resources for Faculty, Staff and Librarians

Next Steps for Partners/External Organizations

If organizations are interested in supporting a simulated work experience, reach out to one of our experiential learning offices or the academic unit that is of most interest to you. While there is no definitive list of these types of opportunities, below are some specific opportunities that you might want to consider: